Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Did I Remember?

A recent radio story about a prominent national leader led me to remind myself that you never know when an encounter you have will have a powerful influence on another person.
Here is a case in point.  Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was recently asked what prompted her toward a life of striving that broke through barrier after barrier opposing the advancement and fulfillment of women.  She then became the first and only woman ever elected to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.
To the question, she responded that back in an early school debate class exercise, each student had to pull out a slip of paper from a bowl and then debate extemporaneously on the question written on the slip of paper. 
Nancy Pelosi's slip asked "Do women think?" and it has haunted, urged and propelled her since.  It is highly unlikely that the debate class teacher ever imagined the impact this exercise might have.
By the end of the radio story, I was left wondering how often I forget that any encounter I have as a leader can have a powerful impact on another person or, it can be just another forgettable encounter.

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